Delta Air Lines says a charter flight carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder from Minneapolis to Chicago apparently encountered a bird early Saturday when it was landing.
Carmelo Anthony was one of several players who posted a photo of the damaged plane shortly after it landed around 12:45 a.m.
Anthony wrote on Instagram, "What possibly could we have hit in the SKY at this time of night? Everyone is Safe, Though."
"You never take anything for granted, just be thankful and blessed they we were able to land the plane and everything was OK," Thunder star Russell Westbrook said. "Seeing stuff like that just shows you how you need to cherish life and understand the important things in life and embrace every moment."
Delta Airlines spokeswoman Elizabeth Wolf said maintenance was evaluating the situation and that the damage was likely caused by a collision with a bird. She said the Boeing 757-200 landed safely without incident at Chicago's Midway International Airport.
"Must've been a pretty big bird — a Pterodactyl maybe," Thunder forward Nick Collison said.
A spokesperson for the team told The Oklahoman newspaper that all of its players, staff and coaches were safe. The Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-116 on Friday night. Oklahoma City plays the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Coach Billy Donovan said the plane encountered the turbulence about halfway through the flight.
"The plane dropped a little bit," Donovan said. "Then they just basically told us they were trying to get to a lower altitude because they maybe were concerned about the cabin pressure.
"We landed safely. Thank God everybody was safe."